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posted by martyb on Tuesday January 28 2020, @11:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the clearing-the-air dept.

https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2020/01/27/coronavirus

As the world knows, we face an emerging virus threat in the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. The problem is, right now there are several important things that we don't know about the situation. The mortality rate, the ease of human-human transmission, the rate of mutation of the virus (and how many strains we might be dealing with – all of these need more clarity. Unfortunately, we've already gone past the MERS outbreak in severity (which until now was the most recent new coronavirus to make the jump into humans). If we're fortunate, though, we'll still have something that will be worrisome, but not as bad as (say) the usual flu numbers (many people don't realize that influenza kills tens of thousands of people in the US each year). The worst case, though, is something like 1918, and we really, really don't need that.

[Ed note: The linked story is by Derek Lowe who writes a "commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry". He is perhaps best known for his "Things I Won't Work With" blog entries which are as hilarious as they are... eye opening. I have found him to be a no-nonsense writer who "tells things as they are", holding no punches. The whole story is worth reading as he clearly explains what a coronavirus is, about the current one that reportedly originated in Wuhan, China, what could be done about it, how long that would likely take, and what can be done for those who have already been infected. --martyb]

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:43AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:43AM (#950491)

    but it turns out some compounds he doesn't want to work with are accessible to (literally) "shed synthesis" for determined-enough humans that lived to tell the tale.

    Unless the laws of physics are different for sheds, everything Mr. Lowe is not willing to work with are accessible to shed synthesis. The shed might not be around afterward, but it's quite feasible to do suicidal chemistry out of your shed.

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:45AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:45AM (#950494) Journal
    Sorry, accidentally logged out. The above post was mine.
  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday January 29 2020, @06:09AM

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @06:09AM (#950527) Journal

    Unless the laws of physics are different for sheds, everything Mr. Lowe is not willing to work with are accessible to shed synthesis.

    Theoretically, you are right.

    Practically, it may hinge on what one is willing to include in the definition of "shed" - e.g if you include "availability of pressure [sciencemag.org] in 10+GPa range [nature.com]" and/or "controlled fluid speeds in continuous flow reactions [sciencemag.org]" and/or "appropriate conditions to settle matters of honor [sciencemag.org]" in the definition of "shed", you may end with out-of-this-world meanings for the word.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0